Can you go into more detail about William and his backstory and recovery?
After only a month with us, William went lame. It took 4 months for us to uncover the issue; collateral ligament damage in both front feet. The scans made it clear that this is something he had been suffering with for a long time and either the previous owners hadn't bothered to notice or had known and carried on anyway.
We followed vet advice and began treatment alongside box rest, when the horse is confined to the stable. After a month, I looked in William's eye and didn't see the horse I’d fallen in love with anymore. In an attempt to heal him, we had pushed him beyond his limits, and he was deeply unhappy. The yard manager told us to put him down; he was now dangerous and wouldn't ‘do the job we bought him for anyway.’
I had made a vow to William; that we would be his forever family, something which is sadly quite rare in the horse world. We had to honour that vow and do our best for him. In the end, I decided to end the treatment and turn him away to live out in a field, just being a horse. I reasoned that his happiness was worth more to me than anything else. We took off his shoes and changed our whole view on horsemanship.
A year later, William is now sound, happy and back to that horse I fell in love with. He has a love that extends to friends, family and my husband, who he is teaching to ride. In essence, the only treatment that worked for him was time, patience and taking him back to nature.